STEM and Robotics

GEMS Education and Carnegie Mellon University Partner to Create STEM and Robotics Labs

GEMS Education and Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab (Community Robotics, Education and Technology Empowerment Lab) are collaborating to develop a STEM-based learning laboratory and robotics curricula for pre-K–12 students worldwide.

GEMS Education — a private company which has campuses in 19 countries — will develop programs focused on robotics to teach students technological advancements and design issues in contextually appropriate ways. An “arts and bots” program will integrate science with humanities courses to emphasize socially meaningful innovation through robotics, where students can combine craft materials and robotic components to build and animate robots.

As part of the project, Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab is establishing creative technology learning labs at GEMS World Academy in Chicago and GEMS Nation Academy in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

“This partnership will leverage the research of the CREATE Lab and the experts within to create a global lab for our students,” said Denise Gallucci, CEO of Gems Education America, in an interview. “In the area of STEM, robotics and artificial intelligence are next-generation topics. We’re providing students with the opportunity to think big, think critically, see the world differently and solve problems.”

GEMS was founded in 1959 as Global Education Management Systems. (The company no longer uses that full name, Gallucci said.) GEMS Education serves more than 250,000 students in 19 countries, including the United States, United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Switzerland.

In the United States, the GEMS Education campus is in Chicago, serving 500 children in preschool through fifth grade. An upper school (sixth through 12th grades) is under construction, and is anticipated to be finished in 2018. The school’s goal is to educate 1,500 students at a time.

GEMS also has plans to establish new schools in the United States and abroad. In the next five years, the company aims to expand to 30 countries and set up campuses in major U.S. metropolitan areas, such as Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and Miami, Gallucci said.  

For Carnegie Mellon, the partnership will give the CREATE Lab an opportunity to expand globally and connect with professors, researchers, educators and students with international perspectives. “This partnership will be a laboratory for long-term innovation, refinement and scaling to genuinely empower teachers at all participating schools,” said Illah Nourbakhsh, director of CREATE Lab and professor of robotics, in a statement.

“Education is a powerful catalyst to change the world for the better,” Gallucci said. “We believe that through this partnership, our collective vision will broaden. We want to create this understanding that the systems and tools and resources are applicable in a trans-disciplinary manner.”

For more information about GEMS Education, visit the company’s website. More information about Carnegie Mellon University can be found on the university’s website.

About the Author

Richard Chang is associate editor of THE Journal. He can be reached at rchang@1105media.com.

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